Vikings’ season ended by shootout with Bears, 3-1

League playoff match with Olympia ends in best-of-five penalty kicks.

By TREVOR PYLE

Staff Writer

TACOMA — Same stadium. Same round. Same disappointment.

For the second year in a row, the North Kitsap soccer team lost their first-round playoff during a shootout at Stadium Bowl.

The Vikings and Olympia Bears faced each other Saturday during a morning so cold there was frost melting on the turf when the teams arrived.

Both squads were ranked No. 3 in their half of the Narrows League; Bridge for the Vikings, Bay for the Bears.

The Vikings were without starting goalkeeper Lacey Cooper, who was injured late in the season with a bone bruise.

As the teams battled to a 0-0 tie throughout regulation, the Vikings shot 13 times, including one try — a Kira Bendixen blast, that rang off the crossbar.

The Bears also had opportunities, though many of their 21 shots were one-touch shots from deep that often found the side of the net — or the football goalposts behind them.

But with both defenses playing tough, North Kitsap and Olympia, including goalies Ashley Phillips for Vikings and Danielle Jones for the Bears, held each other scoreless.

When regulation ended, the teams played two five-minute overtimes.

In the first overtime, North Kitsap’s Rachel Parcells booted a pass to forward Megan Hyte, whose shot bounced off the left post and ricocheted away.

In the second, the Bears had a similar opportunity when a wide-open Brittany Putnam tried to head in a goal in the overtime’s last seconds, then watched with a cringe as the shot went wide by less than a foot. As the sun chased shadows out of the stadium, the teams lined up for a shootout; best of five would win.

The Vikings hit one shot — Kira Bendixen’s blast that sailed over the head of Bears goalie Jones.

But the Bears hit three, as Melynda Buneson, Fran Janny, and Putnam hit shots against Phillips, who had helped shut them out during the previous 90 minutes of soccer.Olympia head coach Tessa Effland credited senior goalie Jones, who spent a recent practice stonewalling her teammates to the point of frustration.

“She’s a wall,” said Effland. “She stops everything.”

North Kitsap head coach Teri Ishihara said the team didn’t play poorly.

The Vikings had more passing combinations than the Bears, she said, but couldn’t put the ball into the net.

“We had a better buildup, but if you don’t put it in the net, it doesn’t matter how pretty you play,” Ishihara said.

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